Saturday, December 9, 2017

Globe and Mail gets a makeover

Been seven years in the making, apparently. The only "new" stuff I noticed was the obits are now at the back of the business section instead of the sports section, and there's a "new section for opinion writing," which isn't new at all, but its name has been changed to "Opinion" from "Focus."

Oh, and there's a nifty new feature called "Applause Please." Brad Wheeler wants you to forward the names of any unsung arts and culture heroes you may know so they can get the props they deserve. The inaugural unsung hero is one John H. Daniels, the unknown Torontonian whose name adorns the U of T's Faculty of Architecture. Maybe they should call it "More Applause Please."

Still with architecture, U of T's smarty-pants-at-large Mark Kingswell wants you to know that he's really smart and what universities are doing is indoctrinating students into something called "critical thinking." Of course they are. The recent stinkfest at Laurier is a great example. Had Lindsay Shepherd not left her iPhone in record mode we wouldn't have gleaned that great insight into just how hard universities work to foster critical thinking.

In the course of making his case, Kingswell drops the term "postmodernism" and tells us that "scholars who pay attention to accuracy will tell you that the term first surfaced in 1960s architectural lingo." Actually, I'd hope they wouldn't; the pot-addled hillbilly is no scholar, but even I can tell you Kingswell is a few decades off the mark with that assertion.

One of the more intriguing reads is Kate Taylor's piece on Call me by your name, the story of a love affair between a man and an underage boy. Hmm... I wonder when they're gonna film the love story about an assistant District Attorney and an underage girl in Alabama? And when they do, will it be deemed Oscar worthy?

Elsewhere, Doug Saunders get's our attention with the shocking headline that "Jerusalem was "Israel's last hope of peace - until Trump threw it away." Ya right. In the fifty years since the occupied territories were occupied, there's been plenty of time to move closer to the fictitious "two state solution." If anything, this story would provide a good point of departure for an investigation into Israeli influence in US politics, but apparently that topic remains taboo.

Overall, the "makeover" leaves me wondering who cares. Not as desperately daft as the exercise in "creative execution" from a couple of years ago, but seriously, what's the point? I'd rather they spent the money wasted on consultants in hiring back some of the proof-readers they used to have around the place. When you can't read the lead editorial in Canada's newspaper of record without tripping over multiple typos, the fact that they've tried to spruce up the old sow with a coat of fresh lipstick leaves one underwhelmed.

Maybe the "Head of Experience" will look into that.

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